US naval experts conduct training on security

Marine Police Commander of Operations, ACP Fortunatus Musilimu, said on Wednesday aboard the American High Speed Vessel (HSV 2) - Swift where they were undergoing training that the just ended course will help bolster safety and security on Tanzanian ports and territorial waters.

Mr Musilimu, who is also the Police Liaison Officer at the port, said that among the strategies they have started implementing is access control at Tanzanian ports."We have also decided that we will improve communications between relevant authorities to beef up security," he said.

At the moment the Surface and Marine Transport Regulatory Authority (Sumatra), the navy and police force have improved communications to curb piracy on Tanzanian territorial waters, he added.

Lieutenant Commander Charles Eaton, Officer-in-Charge of Military Attachment on the Swift, also noted that among the things that they view as a serious threat is piracy off the East African coast.

Lt Commander Eaton said that among the things they have been doing in the country since docking on June 22, this year, is to provide training to improve effectiveness and open up communication to promulgate information to authorities at the right time.

"We have also provided training to the navy and port security personnel in enhancing physical protection of the port as well as basic maritime security," he said.

Several officers from the navy, police force and Sumatra attended the training session on naval investigations by Naval Criminal Investigation Services (NCIS) officials which ended yesterday where they awarded certificates aboard the vessel.

The vessel is a hybrid vehicle that is owned by a commercial entity in the United States but is leased by the US Navy and was built in Tasmania, Australia in 2003.

According to the captain of the Swift, Captain Rhett Mann, navy modifications have made it a long range vessel that has never been meant for offensive activities.

"The secondary mission for us is humanitarian aid because we can get to disaster areas faster than other vessels. We are a defensive ferry and our best defence is the boat's speed," the captain observed.Stretching to about 98 metres, the ship cost about 100 million US dollars to build.

The vessel is basically a littoral and can move at 40 nautical miles when it is light, which is about 55 miles an hour on the surface and can easily go faster around bad weather.The vessel and its crew are expected to leave the country today for Europe.

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